Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Jogging, swimming, dancing, weight-lifting; there are numerous types of exercise we can engage in. Unfortunately, some people develop a rash or hives while exercising. These skin conditions aren't just unsightly, they can also be itchy, swollen, and sometimes painful. So what’s the best way to deal with rashes during exercise? Let’s find out!
When a person exercises, they release a large amount of histamines. Histamines are important proteins in the body responsible for regulating autoimmune responses when a person is allergic to something. However, certain individuals may be sensitive to large amounts of histamines, so when exercising, those with histamine sensitivity are likely to develop rashes, itching, skin redness, and possibly even swelling.
Beyond histamines, there are other environmental factors that may contribute to the development of rashes during exercise. This may include wearing sweaty clothing for too long, using sweaty workout equipment, or even soaps or lotions that can be negatively reacting with your sweat.
Using a hydrocortisone cream on a rash may be the easiest way to deal with it. Non-severe rashes tend to react positively to this cream and will disappear much sooner than if left untreated. Hydrocortisone is a steroid that, when applied as a cream or even as an injection, suppresses the immune system and minimizes the body’s response to the high production of histamine, minimizing the appearance and symptoms of the rash. Talk to your dermatologist to see if this kind of cream is the right direction for you.
Truth be told, rashes typically go away on their own in a few days. So, sometimes, the best thing we can do is manage the symptoms until the body heals itself. A cold compress often works as an easy way to minimize severe itching and burning experienced with a rash. The cooling effect acts as a numbing agent to help you deal with your rash until the rash is gone.
Again, you'll want to speak to your dermatologist, but whether it’s over the counter or prescription, antihistamines are oral medications that directly target the immune system to fight the production of histamines. Similar to how hydrocortisone works, once the histamines dwindle, the rash and its symptoms will begin to fade away. Prescription antihistamines are typically reserved for individuals whose rash is severe and has spread to a large part of the body. Over-the-counter antihistamines help your body to clear away the rash faster than it could on its own.
While the above remedies may help you manage and cure your rash, it’s equally important that you do all that you can to prevent spreading or worsening the rash in any way. This would mean avoiding scratching the affected area at all costs.
It’s also important that you remove sweaty clothes immediately after your workout and take a shower. Keeping sweat against your skin, especially when it’s trapped by fabric, can lead to a rash.
These are just a few examples of ways to deal with rashes from exercise. If your case is more severe or you want more information, our experts at The Dermatology Group in Cincinnati, Ohio, can offer advice, resources, and treatment options. Give us a call today!